Exterior view of the History Centre

Stories from the Strongrooms

In this series of short video talks, Hull History Centre staff explore some of the stories we've found in our collections. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you never miss a new video!

Looking for more? See all our stories from 2021 and 2022.

Imperiled Parsons

In this Stories from the Strongrooms talk we take a look at how we went about preserving a collection of lantern slides that form part of the Mission to Seafarers archive.

Access the catalogue of the Missions to Seafarers Archive, view thumbnails of the lantern slides, and download a PDF copy.

To find out more about our maritime collections more generally, why not download a PDF copy of our research guide Ashore and Afloat: A Guide to Maritime Collections at Hull History Centre.

Thorp Christmas Diaries Part 2

Welcome to this festive edition of our Stories from the Strongrooms. Join us in our merry celebrations as we explore Christmas of yesteryear with a walk through George Thorp’s diaries of the festive seasons from 1925 to 1935.

Before you start, make sure you've seen the first instalment of George Thorpe’s Christmas Diaries!

Amongst our collections here at the Hull History Centre is a collection of diaries and press cuttings created by George Thorp. The diaries span almost thirty years from 1911 to 1940 and detail the weather in Hull, including thermometer and barometer readings taken at his home, describing his daily activities and the people he meets, as well as commenting on national and international events. You can also search the catalogue of the items held within the collection.


The Story of Holderness Road

In this episode in our Stories from the Strongroom series we take a journey along Hull's Holderness Road, looking back at its 800 year history.


Improving Online Access to Hull's Records of Quarter Sessions

Join us as we describe our project to improve online access to Hull’s records of quarter sessions, a project born out of the necessity of staff having to work from home during the pandemic.

In Hull City Archives at the Hull History Centre there is virtually an unbroken run of quarter session bundles dating from 1741-1971 taking up some 114 linear metres of shelving. Crucially, the records of quarter sessions reveal many aspects of life of the people of all ages and backgrounds in Hull during the late 18th to early 20th centuries. The scope of these records for research purposes is both fascinating and vast. There really is no end to their potential.


East Park: Origins and Evolution of Hull's Largest Park

Join us in this episode of Stories from the Strongrooms as we embark on a whistle stop tour of Hull’s largest park: East Park. In this talk we’ll not only explore the origins of the park, but we’ll also look at some of the parks best known features and how East Park has evolved over time.

At the History Centre we hold many documents, maps, plans and photographs relating to East Park and its development through the years. If you’re able to visit the Hull History Centre you can also find a Discovery Box in our library area dedicated to East Park. Our Discovery Boxes provide the opportunity to discover more about our collections through a range of local subjects. Whether you are just starting out or want to discover something new, these Discovery Boxes will help you take the first steps on your journey.


International Voluntary Service for Peace: the early years

In this episode of Stories from the Strongrooms, find out how (and perhaps more importantly, why) one small voluntary organisation shifted an 80,000-ton spoil heap in Shropshire in the cause of international peace.

Founded in 1931 as the British branch of Service Civil International, IVSP’s principles were “deeds not words” and “pick and shovel peacemaking”. Their records are held at the History Centre and are currently being catalogued.


Unlocking the Treasures at Hull's Local Studies Library: Special Collections

In this episode of Stories from the Strongrooms, why not take a whistle-stop tour of some of the items in the newly catalogued Special Collections now able to view at the Hull History Centre.


For Those in Peril on the Sea: Maritime Missionaries in Hull

In this two-part episode of Stories from the Strongrooms we take a look at maritime missionary activity in Hull during the 19th and 20th centuries, and we highlight the surviving archive of the Mission to Seafarers.

To find out more, download the Mission to Seafarers catalogue (PDF, 5MB), or discover all our maritime collections in our Fishing and Maritime History research guide.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Hull and its Charters: Part 2

In this episode of our Stories from the Strongrooms we continue our look at the development of Hull though some of our iconic Charters, carrying the story on from the 16th to the 20th centuries.


Robert Greenwood Tarran: "The Man Who Is Hull"

Welcome to the latest in our Stories from the Strongrooms. Join me as I take you on a whirlwind tour through the life of one of Hull’s “most dynamic and colourful citizens”: Robert Greenwood Tarran. A true rags-to-riches affair, we’ll begin with his early life and how he built up his business empire, only to almost lose it all when he went head-to-head with the law.

A member of Hull City Council, Sheriff of Hull and the city’s Chief Air Raid Warden during the Second World War, Robert Greenwood Tarran was also involved in numerous organisations and President and Vice-president to many local societies. His interests were wide-ranging and his energy for pursuing them was extraordinary.


Saltburn to Skegness: East Coast Resorts in The Claude William Jamson Photographic Archive

In this month’s edition of our Stories from the Strongrooms series we take a trip back in time to our favourite East Coast resorts in the 1920s! All the photographs in this video are from the Claude William Jamson Photographic Archive (reference: U DX336) which is held by Hull University Archives at the Hull History Centre. These amazing photographs provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, showcasing the sights and attractions that have made these resorts so beloved. If you’d like to know more about the Jamson collection and explore the other places the family photographed, you can view the catalogue.

Want more 1920s views? See our earlier Story from the Strongrooms looking at the Jamson photographs of Hull in the 1920s.


Myton: A Short History

With work progressing on the A63, in particular the Mytongate and the area between the Humber Estuary and Anlaby Road, we’ve taken the opportunity to explore this area of Myton’s history, which spans a thousand years. All images and information contained within this talk are taken from our collections held here at the Hull History Centre.


Hull and its Charters: Part I

In this episode of our Stories from the Strongrooms we look at the development of Hull from the 13th to the 15th centuries though some of our most iconic documents – the Charters.